Song of the Week #2: Arcade Fire, "Everything Now"

I have to confess, Arcade Fire are a band that have grown on me. I knew of “The Suburbs” single and thought that was ‘quite good’, but it wasn’t until I saw their Glastonbury 2014 set that I really got them. “Reflektor” and “We Exist” were the two tracks that really burned themselves into my consciousness.

So, “Everything Now” is the first new material that’s been released since I became a fan. It’s produced by former Trolley Dog Shag and Pulp bassist Steve Mackey and 50% of Daft Punk in the form of Thomas Bangalter, which probably accounts for the dancier aspects. And boy, what a corker it is.

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25 years on – "1992 The Love Album", by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine

May 2017 marks 25 years since Carter USM released “1992 The Love Album”, which was paradoxically both their most successful album and the one that began their sad demise. To mark the anniversary we take a look at Carter’s seminal album and ask ourselves, “is wrestling fixed?”

It certainly doesn’t seem like 25 years. Whilst the music – drum machines, sequencers, guitars turned up to 11 – does sound powerful but a little dated, Jim Bob’s lyrics still sound fresh and visceral, helped in part by the fact that we’re still governed by the same sort of sentient cesspit scum that made everyone’s life a misery in the early 90s.

When the album came out it was a new entry into the album charts at #1, a good showing for a band that only had one top ten single – “The Only Living Boy in New Cross”, the lead single from this very album. Goodness knows what fellow chart dwellers Curtis Stigers, Annie Lennox and Michael Ball thought when this lot exploded onto Top of the Pops in April 1992, when the single was a new entry at #8.

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Song of the Week #1: Steps, "Story of a Heart (radio edit)"

Every week, or at least as often as I can be bothered, I’ll be taking one of the tracks recommended by Spotify via either the Release Radar or Discover Weekly playlists and reviewing it. This week, it’s the new Steps’ single, “Story of a Heart”.

This is not going to come as much of a surprise because as regular listeners will know I’m something of a pop tart, but I fricking loved Steps V1.0. Well, not “5-6-7-8” quite so much because line dancing is one of those things that should have been consigned to the great pedal bin of life a long time ago. But every other Steps single, and most especially the singles from the first two albums, are just about perfect as far as pop goes. So when Spotify pushed “Story of a Heart” at me (and having just recently watched the Steps Reunion thing on YouTube – such shade!) I decided I would make this my first weekly review. And I decided I would do it in the manner of the great Guardian MBMs and OBOs, because this is my blog, and not yours.

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